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One hundred years ago World War I began. It lasted for over 4 years and resulted in approximately 37 million deaths and injuries, with about 15-16 million deaths and about 9 million of them being military personnel. It also involved approximately 70 million soldiers being called to serve; about 60 million in Europe. All of those are staggering numbers. Before World War II it was called the Great War. Devastation on a grand never before experienced scale. The Atlantic is running a review of photos from the war years. They are grim. This weeks pictures available on the web: The Western Front The series began last week: Pictures From Last Week
Austria-Hungary, in today's world, is a "Who gives a damn" entity, but this 51-year constitutional government shaped the western world into what it is today. Yes, World War I would have happened anyway, but the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand contributed mightily to the July Crisis of 1914, which set the stage for World War I (which set the stage for World War II). I could go on, but the rest unravels obviously into the current state of the world. Unlike many of my "Pedagogical Threads," this one will hopefully have many parts, hopefully written by numerous people who know a lot more than I do. The importance of Austria-Hungary simply cannot be overstated. Anyone looking to study The History Of The World (yeah, I'm talking to *both* of you two!) would be doing well to use the birth of this constitutional union as a starting point, working both backwards and forwards. My hope is that this post will eventually reach a historical scholar, confident and naive enough to want to enlighten masses of highly intelligent, but uneducated, people - eager to learn, but with little to say (I would be one of that group). Please join us and share your wisdom.